Sometimes a designer needs to recharge her batteries.  I spent the afternoon of Saturday, October 26 soaking up inspiration as horticulture and design experts discussed regional landscape design in a program organized by the Association of Professional Landscape Designers and Pacific Horticulture Society.

A program of the Association of Professional Landscape Designers, Greater Los Angeles District (APLD) and Pacific Horticulture Society (PHS). – See more at:

Carol Bornstein, Director of the Nature Gardens at the Natural History Museum of Los Angles County, gave a beautifully illustrated overview of California native plant communities and discussed some unusual uses for native plants, including edibles, natives to use for a formal garden, and lawn alternatives.

San Marcos Growers is renowned for their wonderful selection of plants that are appropriate for a Mediterranean climate. General Manager Randy Baldwin shared images of the many beautiful Australian plants introduced by the nursery in conjunction with the University of California, Santa Cruz Koala Blooms program.  Pictured below is Adenanthos cuneatus ‘Coral Drift,’ a plant introduced by the program in 2007, and one that I, along with many others there, was lusting after.

The afternoon culminated with a presentation by one of my favorite designers: Australian-born landscape architect Bernard Trainor.  Trainor is a master at crafting understated gardens that deftly complement their natural environments. He shared his approach to design as a response to the complexities of the site.


You’ll learn how to enhance the existing natural beauty of a site through your garden designs while using regionally appropriate plants that will thrive.

Bernard Trainor. Australian-born landscape designer Bernard Trainor uses the tools of both the naturalist and the architect to create stunning large-scale gardens that unfold over many acres. Across airy hilltops, craggy seasides, and other one-of-a-kind tracts, Trainor applies simple, understated frames to rugged natural panoramas, the better to bring them into focus.

Carol Bornstein. Director of the Nature Gardens at the Natural History Museum of Los Angles County.  Throughout her career, Carol has championed the landscape value of California’s native plants and the benefits of designing gardens in harmony with nature.

Randy Baldwin. General Manager of San Marcos Growers, Santa Barbara, California. They grow plants appropriate for a Mediterranean climate including bulbs, grasses, perennials, succulents, shrubs, and vines which are sold in retail locations across California.

– See more at:

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